Cockatiels belong to the parrot family and enjoy the same type of diet as their larger relatives. Bird pellets and table food make a nutritional diet for cockatiels. Cockatiels love carrots, including the tops, though you have to be creative to get them to accept them as food at first.
Remove a carrot from the refrigerator, wash it thoroughly under running water and set it on the counter. Allow the carrot to come to room temperature. Cockatiels and other birds do not like cold vegetables and will not usually accept them readily.
Hold the carrot in one hand and place a vegetable peeler on it near the green tops. Slide the vegetable peeler down the length of the carrot to make one long, very thin piece of carrot.
Cut a small portion of the carrot piece into a length about 2 inches long.
Offer the piece of carrot to your cockatiel. He will more than likely take it into one foot and explore it with his beak. If he will not take it from you, try putting a piece in your mouth and eat it in front of him to get his attention while saying “Mmmm.” Offer the piece of carrot to him again. Cockatiels are like children in that if they see you eating something, they will want a bite, too.
Cut the small tip of a carrot off about 2 inches long with a sharp knife. Put it in your cockatiel's foot and allow him to play with it as if it were a toy. In his play, he will gnaw at the carrot like a toy and eat tiny bits with his beak.
Grate small portions of carrots on a kitchen grater and add it to your cockatiel’s food bowl after he has decided he likes carrots. You can mix it in with his bird pellets to encourage him to eat it. Birds may not realize that veggies are food at first and take them out of the food bowl.
Cut the green tops off a carrot about and inch below the tops. Tie a string around the orange potion of the carrot top. Tie the other end of a piece of string to the top of your birdcage and allow the greens to hang down inside like a toy. Cockatiels enjoy new toys and some like the carrot tops to play with and eat. Be forewarned that it may get messy if he shreds the greens and throws them out of the cage.
- Choose fresh, crisp vegetables for your bird to eat.
- Socialize and play with your feathered friend on a daily basis to gain his trust. This will make him more likely to accept new items that you offer him.
- Remove carrot pieces and tops if your pet does not eat them within an hour or so. You wouldn’t enjoy soggy, limp vegetables and neither will your bird.
- Provide clean, fresh water for your cockatiel on a daily basis.
- Commercial cockatiel pellets should make up about 60 to 80 percent of your bird's diet and the remainder should be table food.
Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.